The England Visually Impaired (VI) squad are looking to appoint a new T20 captain following a review of the team’s performances over the winter period.
The decision means current captain Luke Sugg will return to a playing role after a successful four-year period at the helm.
England VI head coach Ross Hunter paid tribute to Sugg’s leadership, which has including captaining the team in two World Cup semi-finals in 2012 and this year.
“Luke has captained the side admirably and has always been very unselfish in putting other players forward and developing the squad.”
“Luke has helped oversee a very positive four-year cycle. His achievements in leading the team to World Cup semi-finals in 2012 and this year are worthy of recognition but don’t tell the whole story. He has captained the side admirably and has always been very unselfish in putting other players forward and developing the squad.
“After the World Cup in India it is the right time to look at how we move forward. We have reviewed our performances in the competition and our progress over the past four years.
“We are very lucky to have a group of players who are very committed to playing for England and we want to give a number of them the chance to develop and see who steps up. We have the opportunity to develop our plans to compete with the very best sides in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing who is best placed to lead the team in this exciting time.”
Luke oversaw a win percentage of 52% from his 25 matches in charge. Defeats against Pakistan in both World Cups curtailed their chances of lifting the trophy.
The former England Disability Cricketer of the Year averaged over 35 with the bat as captain including two fifties and one century, made against Nepal in the recent T20 Blind World Cup. Luke was also the leading wicket taker over the same period in T20 cricket with 19 wickets.
Speaking about the move, Sugg said: “It's been an honour to have captained my country. I've had an amazing journey as England Twenty20 captain across the highs and the lows of two World Cups and two semi-finals.
“I'd like to thank all the players for always supporting and believing in me. Also to Ross for giving me the opportunity to lead the team. It's been a pleasure seeing many different players perform and grow.
“I would like to wish whoever takes over all the best. Hopefully I can help them become a World Cup-winning captain by playing the best cricket I can and supporting them wherever needed.”
Head of Disability Cricket, Ian Martin, said: “The decision was part of a broader review of the side and looking at the future direction for the team. We need to look at what we can do to make that next step and compete with the best teams in the world.
“We look forward to Luke remaining part of that as he is one of the best Visually Impaired cricketers in the world.”